Summer in Arizona can be a brutal time for residents, but it can be just as brutal for plants. How is a new plant supposed to survive when water is scarce, the temperatures are well into the triple digits, and moments of relief from the sun are few and far between?
There are a few things you can do to help new plants survive during the Arizona summer.
Water, water, water.
New plants trying to make it through the scorching summer are going to need plenty of regular watering. Make sure you know how much water the plant requires and how often it needs to be watered, and stick to those guidelines as closely as possible. Make sure not to overwater.
Choose the right plants.
Some plants are simply not cut out for summer sunshine or temperatures, especially when they are in their young, vulnerable stages. If you must plant during the summer, talk to a professional at an Arizona nursery who can help you choose hearty plants that can survive harsh summer conditions.
(Note: peak Arizona planting season is in the fall, so if there is something you really want to plant, you might want to consider waiting a few months.)
Create shaded areas.
Use shade cloth, trees, or large plants (vining plants or even sunflowers) to help create some shade for new plants that don’t do well with full sun exposure. Be aware of which spots in your yard get the most sun, and plant accordingly.
Pay attention to the soil.
The dry soil of the Arizona desert isn’t exactly conducive to plant growth. If you are trying to plant something that needs a richer soil, use mulch. This will help the soil retain its moisture more effectively.
That said, try not to disturb the soil too much during the summer. Any sort of digging or weeding can lead to moisture loss, which is exactly what you don’t want.
Block the wind.
Wind on a hot day can actually dry out plants even faster than the heat alone. Create windbreaks for your new plants, either by planting them strategically or putting up a fence or hedge.
Take care of yourself.
Plants aren’t the only things you need to consider when planting in the Arizona heat. Please stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, and watch for signs of heat stroke (excessive sweating, feeling sick, extreme thirst, muscle cramps, fast breathing, and headache are the most common signs).
With careful consideration, you can successfully plant new plants in the Arizona summer. Just be sure to do your research, find the right plants, and give them the appropriate care.